Lettres de la Société des Amis des Noirs, à M. Necker, avec la réponse de ce ministre
Abolition Campaigns
Bibliothèque Nationale de France. British Library.
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Letters Society Amis Noirs Necker Finance Minister France Abolition Britain Slave Trade
This published correspondence between the abolitionist Société des Amis des Noirs and the French finance minister Jacques Necker in June 1789 consists of three letters. The Société thanks Necker for raising the issue of the slave trade in a parliamentary address, and calls for France to follow Britain in setting up a committee of enquiry into the trade. Contemporary European politics, according to the abolitionists, were increasingly based on establishing human rights, and "the State with the most constitutional liberties and the most enlightened policies must win against its rivals" (4). The letter also criticises Necker's promise to cut the financial incentive on the slave trade by half, arguing that any continuance of the trade was incompatible with "the dignity of an enlightened Nation" (6-7). Necker responded that this was intended to be a temporary measure, and the society wrote back to clarify their position, enclosing a diagram and description of a slave ship, sent by the British abolitionist society.
Both letters from the Société des Amis des Noirs signed by the President, E. Clavière, and by Gramagnac, Secretary. The first letter is also signed by De Breban, Treasurer.